Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fish and Food a saturday night!

So today we broke some resolutions but I feel that i had a good reason! A friend from school was in town on her way back home so we all meet and had lunch at the Mall. Instead of a healthy choice I went with unhealthy chinese food.

But alas, we did *most* of our grocery shopping!

The plan is tomorrow we are going to make Meatballs (we'll use pork and beef and mix that with some onion, ginger, garlic, eggs, bread crumbs and different spices - don't worry I'll post a recipe later!) and then freeze them so we have easy meatballs accessible.

I also got the pork to make pulled pork, and pork roasts so later tonight or tomorrow I will break down the meat and then when putting it away we will start our freezer inventory list!

As far as sticking to the so-called "meal plan" for this week - it didn't work but we still ate at home.  

Tonight we made brown rice, broccoli and then had Pickerel.  We used frozen broccoli, and then brown minute rice (I'm not sure how healthy that is compared to regular rice) but I managed to get supper on the table in 15 minutes. As for the Pickerel, I just used salt & pepper on each side with a little greek style spice mix I had in the cupboard. Then I placed the pickerel into a hot non-stick frying pan with a slight bit of oil (probably about 1/2 tsp.) and cooked while waiting for the rice to cook.  It was great!

For those that don't eat fish I would highly recommend Pickerel!  I know that I hated fish for the longest time (except canned Tuna but I don't count that). Most of all I hated fish that had a strong taste!  However, that started to change when a dear friend of mine started to introduce me to Sushi.  

When our daughter started eating solid food and we were introducing her to meat I found it really difficult. Chicken, Pork and Beef are hard to chew unless they are ground up and I wanted her to eat more healthy food. I decided that I wanted to try fish as I knew that it was flaky and not tough like meat. I talked with the local meat person at the grocery store who recommended I try: Basa, Sole and Cod as they are relatively flavorless fish, have no bones or skin (I can't deal with heads, bones or skin on my food).  Well I loved the Basa as it is entirely flavorless and will taste like whatever it is cooked with like citrus fruit. However, I wasn't a fan of Sole or Cod and have not really tried them since. I have since tried Hallibut and Tuna stakes (individually frozen from Costco). Anyways, my husband thinks that we should be trying more local food, including local fish and I know that my Dad (who also hates fishy fish) likes pickerel so we picked up some small pieces today from the store. I definitely will be getting more soon!

If you are like me, and are unsure about fish I recommend buying a few small pieces from the store and trying them. Stay away from ones that have skin on them and go for the boneless as they will be less likely to scare you off! (Plus, I have no idea what to do with the skin or bones.)

Our next fish to try will be stealhead trout (apparently it is not the same thing as Salmon!)

As for meal planning tomorrow will definitely be Chili because the ground beef has been taken out. I will post more tomorrow about what the meal plan for the week is going to be. Tonight, I will be running and reading. 

As for the picture of the day it goes to my daughter! (Not a great picture as it was taken with my cell phone) but too cute not to share!

Confessions of a Shopaholic

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

ISBN - 0440245567
Pages: 384
Rating: 4 out of 5

Millions of readers have come to adore New York Times best-selling author Sophie Kinsella’s irrepressible heroine. Meet Becky Bloomwood, America’s favorite shopaholic—a young woman with a big heart, big dreams…and just one little weakness.

Becky has a fabulous flat in London''s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season''s must-haves. The only trouble is that she can''t actually afford it—not any of it.

Her job writing at Successful Savings not only bores her to tears, it doesn''t pay much at all. And lately Becky''s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can''t bear to read—and they''re getting ever harder to ignore.

She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Becky''s only consolation is to buy herself something ... just a little something....

Finally a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.

Sophie Kinsella has brilliantly tapped into our collective consumer conscience to deliver a novel of our times—and a heroine who grows stronger every time she weakens. Becky''s hilarious schemes to pay back her debts are as endearing as they are desperate. Her "confessions" are the perfect pick-me-up when life is hanging in the (bank) balance.

The book was great! I enjoyed reading it. Admittedly I saw some of myself in the book, which has it own upsides and downsides. Considering that we are trying to cut back and pay down debt it is bad to see yourself in this book. However, on the other hand it makes the book relatable and a very easy read! 

Like for instance, today I was looking for a new bag for work (I have this one particular file that has broken TWO of my bags on the way in for CC's *sigh*) One bag I still have to contact the manufacturer to see if they can repair/fix the bag. The other one is hopelessly broken and I am not even sure who made it. The point, there are still many post-christmas sales on including 30% at this one luggage store. I got one from there completely unsure about it with the thought of probably returning it. After that, I went to another store and found the perfect bag (right size, opens perfectly etc.) so I bought it.  Still have to return the first bag, but for $100 a pop you can bet I'll be returning it!

Anyways - back to the book!  It was good, a definite page turner a points. Somewhat predictable ending but still very well done. I stayed up until 6 a.m. to finish reading the book!

I would recommend this book to anyone who's looking for some escape.  I enjoyed the book so much that I will be definitely reading the rest of the books in the series and by this author!

Picture of the Day - January 3rd

Friday, January 2, 2009

Friday night musings

So meal plan already de-railed but I think more poor planning and hope on my part than anything else!

BUT so far so good - we did eat in yesterday night and tonight!
Yesterday we took our daughter to seek The Tale of Desperaux and instead of stopping for fast food or anything we brought healthy popcorn from home and went to the movie. We didn't end up eating until we got home around 9:30 p.m. which, aside from the choice of grill cheese as our choice of food, is the only down side. 

Tonight we had Grilled Chicken in Balsamic Vinaigrette with Fig Sauce, left over rice from our chinese food, and pees. 

Tomorrow we are all set for Chili. I got derailed today in my food efforts because I went with a friend for lunch and we ended up talking for several hours. (I don't count that as eating out because my friend paid - thanks R!) 

Tonight I managed to conquer another bill and update the new expense sheet. Although, I still have a few bills left to collect the biggest part is yet to come and that is really putting everything away in the filing cabinet.

This weekend will be focused on creating an inventory of all the food in the house so that we can actually make effective meal plans and grocery lists.  I still have to take a picture for the day but I have some time left for some inspiration.

I didn't manage to run today - but I think that will be happening shortly.  I will be aiming to run on the odd days (1st, 3rd, etc.). I did finish the first book in the 50 book challenge "Confessions of a Shopaholic" By Sophie Kinsella   I can't wait to watch the movie when it comes out (I believe February 13, 2009).

Today I started reading "Darwin Awards III"  by Wendy Northcott and I must say that I am enjoying it thus far.  I was going to buy the entire series and still might but I might actually start using the public library in an attempt to save some money!

I've updated my reading list now to include more of the books I plan on reading in the next while and I'm open to suggestions. 

I'll be back later to post my picture of the day!

Picture of the Day - January 2nd

Meal Plans for the week 1

So I am contemplating what the meal plans for the rest of this week is going to be and this should be easy because we only have Friday and Saturday Left.

Friday - Chili
Saturday - Pulled Pork

I decided on Chili and Pulled Pork for the left. Also, they can be cooked in the slow cooker which means that we can prepare them and make life easier.

Be prepared that for the next few winter months the slow cooker is going to be a good friend. Now, if only I could figure out how to cook fish nicely in a slow cooker my life would be great!

As for the other resolutions - I managed to set up the excel spreadsheet  to enter all the bills into and have downloaded one of them thus far.  Now to collect and organize the rest of them. 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years and New Resolutions

So this year was a less than spectacular New Year's eve compared to previous years. I would guess that you are now wondering what we did, I will start by an explanation of the past two years first. 

In December 2006 we sold our first home which we had converted into a rental property the year before. We used some of the money that we made to go on our first (and definitely not the last all inclusive trip) and spent a week in the Dominican Republic

In 2007 we decided to ri
ng in the New Year in the most iconic way we could think of, and cross one of my many items off my bucket list. So we headed off to New York, New York and spent the night in Times Square!

This year -

We spent the night at home watching movies with our Daughter. We ordered in Chinese Food, Sushi, and Cheese fondue!
(we watched - "Get Smart" "Marry Poppins" and "Nanny Diaries" and still have several movies to watch!)

So you ask what are the resolutions because everyone has to have resolutions. Well in fact this year I did decide to make a few and I wanted to keep them achievable but more importantly I wanted to keep them realistic!

My Resolutions revolve around two principles. The first principle is that I want to loose weight but I feel that having a goal of "loose x amount weight" is non-specific and very likely to be thrown out too easily.  The net result is that I am aiming at loosing 100 lbs. but I would rather not focus only on the number. If I achieve the other goals on the road to being healthy the rest will follow. The second principle is that I feel that our house needs to be more centered for my daughter. Things are hectic and crazy being that my husband and I have what I would term high-traffic jobs and that I have the added fun of completing my bar admission course. So to make life easier I have designed some of my goals around this idea.  

So the Health related goals:
  1. Run at minimum every other day for a total of 30 minutes (increasing speed, intensity, and duration over the year to hopefully be able to run a half marathon by June, and the distance equivalent of a full marathon by next New Years);
  2. Cut the junk food out of my diet and life (this means purging the house of all bad foods after today);
  3. No more trips to fast food restaurants for anyone in the family;
  4. A maximum of eating out once every six weeks with health choices;
Home Related Resolutions:
  1. Get the house organized and keep it that way. This means keeping the bills and mail organized, keeping the information that comes in recorded;
  2. Get up and go to sleep at regular and consistent times;
  3. Participate in the 50 book challenge (although I may modify that because some of my books are extremely long e.g., Roots) so I am aiming at reading 15,000 pages based on 50 books with an average length of 300 pages);
  4. Finish my assignments before Friday of each week so that the weekend can be family time;
  5. Set up a meal plan for the week and follow it;
  6. Cook one new meal each week;
  7. Track and organize all the food in the house (deep freeze, cupboards, etc.) so that we can help with the meal planning;
  8. Take and post a picture a day!
  9. Keep track of all money spent (including cash);
  10. Finally, the most important, post to the blog in a regular fashion to keep myself accountable for my goals!